BC-CO--Colorado News Digest, CO

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 12 at 3:00 PM

The supervisor is Colleen Slevin, followed by Thomas Peipert. Reruns of stories are available from http://www.apexchange.com, from the Service Desk (877-836-9477) or by calling the Denver bureau at 800-332-6917 or 303-825-0123. Jim Clarke (jclarke(at)ap.org) is chief of bureau. Jim Anderson (janderson(at)ap.org) is news editor.

Please send news stories and tips via the electronic carbon system. You may also email them to apdenver(at)ap.org (ASCII text only, no attachments) or fax them to 303-892-5927. The bureau's email address is apdenver(at)ap.org.

Please contribute photos via FTP to the State Photo Center. To speak to a photo editor there, call 888-APFOTOS.

AROUND COLORADO:

COLORADO SHOOTING

CENTENNIAL — The judge in the deadly Colorado movie theater shooting case entered a not guilty plea on behalf of James Holmes on Tuesday after the former graduate student's defense team said he was not ready to enter one. If Holmes is convicted, he could be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison. Judge William Sylvester said Holmes, 25, can change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity later, if he chooses. By Dan Elliott And Nicholas Riccardi.

AP Photos by Ed Andrieski and The Denver Post.

CIVIL UNIONS-COLORADO

DENVER — Civil unions for gay couples were a rallying cry for Democrats who took control of the Colorado House in last year's elections and vowed an early vote on the proposal. They kept their promise Tuesday, passing a bill giving gay couples rights similar to marriage that now goes to the governor's desk, where it's expected to be signed. The vote punctuates a dramatic political shift in Colorado, where voters approved a gay-marriage ban seven years ago — meaning civil unions are the only option for gay couples in the state for now. That could change with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage bans in the coming months. By Ivan Moreno.

AP Photos by Brennan Linsley and The Denver Post.

SCHOOL GIRL KILLED

GOLDEN — The teen accused of kidnapping, killing and dismembering a 10-year-old Colorado girl is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to the horrific crime because he told police he knew what he did was wrong and he wanted to give his victim's family some level of comfort. Austin Sigg is charged with murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in the Oct. 5 disappearance and slaying of Jessica Ridgeway in the Denver suburb of Westminster. The case led parents and school officials to take extraordinary precautions to keep children safe, and residents were encouraged to report suspicious behavior by neighbors. By Thomas Peipert.

AP Photos NY112, NY115.

OF COLORADO INTEREST:

LEGALIZING MARIJUANA

SEATTLE — A key lawmaker is proposing changes to Washington's new legal marijuana law. Democratic Rep. Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw, who leads the House committee that oversees cannabis, says the state will be leaving "money on the table" unless it increases the fees required to obtain a license to grow, process or sell marijuana. By Gene Johnson.

Also:

— SCHOOL FUNDING-DUBAI — Fort Lewis College is reaching out to the Persian Gulf city-state of Dubai to build relationships with its small community of alumni there.

— GREELEY SLAYING — A 29-year-old Ault man accused of killing his common-law wife more than a year ago tells police his crimes were influenced by a demonic voice.

— SOFTWARE STOCKS — A Boulder-based software development company is planning a $70 million initial public stock offering.

— ASPEN SECRETS — Aspen's mayor is hopping mad after someone revealed his negotiating posture on property discussed in a private session.

— COLORADO AVALANCHES — The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says the danger of avalanches is high in some areas follow a big snow storm that moved through the state over the weekend.

— FRACKING RULES — The debate over regulation of oil and gas drilling is highlighting concerns over local control.

— COLORADO-DEATH PENALTY — Opponents of the death penalty are trying to persuade Gov. John Hickenlooper to grant clemency to death-row inmate Nathan Dunlap.

SPORTS:

AIR FORCE-LYONS' LEADERSHIP

UNDATED — Senior Michael Lyons figured he would go from driving the lane to carpooling to his awaiting desk job once he hoisted his final jumper at Air Force. After years of burying baskets for the Falcons as a shooting guard, his next military assignment after graduation was scheduled to be "buying things for the Air Force" as an acquisitions officer. By Sports Writer Pat Graham.

AP Photos COBL106, CALI103, COCOL103.

MELO'S DENVER RETURN

DENVER — Carmelo Anthony simply won't recognize these Denver Nuggets — even though he had just about everything to do with the makeup of their roster. The New York Knicks visit the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night in Anthony's first trip back to Denver since forcing his way out of town more than two years ago in a blockbuster trade that reshaped both franchises. By Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton.

AP Photos COBL106, CALI103, COCOL103, OAS110, OAS111, PNU110.

HKN--OILERS-AVALANCHE

DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche will try to win three in a row for the first time this season when they host a road weary Edmonton team on Tuesday night. The Oilers are finishing up a nine-game road swing. By Pat Graham. Puck drops at 7 p.m. MT.

AP Photos.

BBO--DIAMONDBACKS-ROCKIES

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — An Arizona Diamondbacks split squad faces the Colorado Rockies in spring training baseball.

BKC--PAC-12 TOURNAMENT

LAS VEGAS — Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott fought to bring the conference tournament to Las Vegas, hoping the bright lights of the Strip would add to the atmosphere. The way things have gone on the court, it should be pretty exciting inside the MGM Grand Garden this week. By Basketball Writer John Marshall.

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The AP-Denver

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